Gun Related News Stories
FBI To Launch Secondary Background Check System - July 14, 2018
The Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) internal process for firearms-related background checks is gearing up for a change. A secondary system, known as the National Data Exchange (N-DEx), will be implemented in conjunction with the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), National Public Radio (NPR) reported.
"The N-DEx system is an unclassified national information sharing system that enables criminal justice agencies to search, link, analyze, and share local, state, tribal, and federal records," the FBI's website said. "N-DEx is also a strategic investigative information sharing system that fills informational gaps and provides situational awareness."
N-DEx is being implemented because of previous NICS failures, particularly in the Charleston church shooting incident where 21-year-old shooter Dylann Roof was able to purchase a firearm two months before the shooting despite having a felony drug arrest on his record. That arrest should have barred him from purchasing a firearm.
Judge Strikes Columbus Bump Stock Ban Down As Unconstitutional - July 13, 2018
A Franklin County judge has struck down Columbus' bump-stock ban, saying it violates the Ohio Constitution.
Franklin County Judge David E. Cain ruled Friday that the bump-stock ban the Columbus City Council passed in May violates state law and that the city cannot enforce it.
Cain ruled that a separate ordinance that makes it a misdemeanor to carry a gun while under disability in Ohio does not conflict with state law and can be enforced.
Ohioans for Concealed Carry and the Buckeye Firearms Foundation had sued the city in June, arguing that Columbus had violated the state's preemption law by banning bump stocks and passing a law that made it a misdemeanor to carry a gun while under disability.
Massachusetts Governor Signs 'Red Flag' Bill Into Law - July 3, 2018
Governor Charlie Baker signed into law Tuesday a bill that will give courts the authority to strip weapons from people who have been identified by their families as a danger to themselves or others, strengthening the state's already strict gun laws, and making Massachusetts the latest state to respond to a national spate of mass shootings with more restrictions on firearms.
Baker, a Republican, signed the 'red flag' legislation at the State House surrounded by Democratic legislators, police officers, mothers who have rallied for stronger gun laws, and a Cambridge Rindge & Latin School student who had been advocating for the bill.
Lawsuit Filed Over Washington State Anti-Gun Ballot Initiative - July 2, 2018
A pro-gun nonprofit based in Bellevue has asked Washington's Supreme Court to block an initiative that would implement a new slate of gun restrictions from reaching the November ballot, arguing the campaign's petitions did not meet legal standards.
The Second Amendment Foundation filed the challenge with the high court late Friday, just days before the campaign for I-1639 said it plans to turn in more than 360,000 signatures to qualify for a public vote.
Tallman Trask, a spokesman for the I-1639 campaign, characterized the lawsuit as a last-ditch effort to stop the initiative since pro-gun organizations "can't win at the ballot." He told The News Tribune and The Olympian the I-1639 campaign plans to move forward with turning in signatures at the end of the week.
In a news release, Alan Gottlieb, the founder of the gun group, said the I-1639 campaign failed to properly show what current state laws would be changed and eliminated by the proposed measure through underlines and strike-out lines, standard practice on legislative bills at the Capitol.
State law requires a "full, true, and correct copy" of the proposed measure printed on the petition. The court filing by attorney Shawn Newman contends the petition text doesn't match official text provided by the state's Code Reviser's office since it lacks those page markups.
Massachusetts Lawmakers Pass 'Red Flag' Gun Seizure Bill - July 2, 2018
Republican Gov. Charlie Baker will now have to decide on signing a proposal allowing for temporary gun seizures from those thought to be a threat to themselves or others.
The emergency bill, H.4670, passed a final roll call in the state legislature last week with only one lawmaker, Fitchburg Republican Sen. Dean Tran, voting against the measure in the Senate, joined by 15 other GOP members in the House. Broad in scope, it would allow current and former romantic partners, family, roommates, and police to seek an extreme risk protection order, suspending someone's gun rights and firearm license for up to a year.
"This is not anything that changes Second Amendment rights," said Senate Majority Leader Cynthia Stone Creem, D-Newton. "This is about licensing, when a license needs to be suspended because that person is a risk."
The so-called "red flag law" establishes a mechanism to allow family members or law enforcement to ask the courts to remove access to guns, ammunition, firearm ID cards, or licenses to carry a firearm from an individual thought to be at risk. The order, once issued, would be transmitted to federal agencies to bar future gun sales or transfers through licensed dealers. The ERPO would last for up to one year with the option open to discontinue to renew.
Oregon Supreme Court Kills Assault Weapon Ban Initiative Over Deceptive Language - June 29, 2018
On Wednesday, Oregon's Supreme Court refused to approve Initiative Petition 43, a state ballot proposal for an assault weapon and high-capacity magazine ban, due to the initiative's repeated use of vague and misleading language and outright false claims to describe the proposed law to voters. Furthermore, the court directed Oregon's attorney general to revise the language of the initiative to comply with state laws requiring Oregonians to be accurately informed about the law's key provisions at the ballot box.
However, even if the necessary revisions were made to the gun control initiative's language, supporters of the measure would need to collect 88,184 signatures by July 6th to get it on this year's ballot. Furthermore, the collection of those signatures could not legally start until Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum made the revisions to the ballot language required by the court. Given these legal roadblocks, multiple local news sources were not optimistic about the initiative's chances for success.
Billionaire Bloomberg To Dole Out 80 Million To Anti-Gun Candidates In 208 Election - June 23, 2018
Michael R. Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City, has decided to throw his political clout and personal fortune behind the Democratic campaign to take control of the House of Representatives this year, directing aides to spend tens of millions of dollars in an effort to expel Republicans from power.
Mr. Bloomberg, a political independent who has championed left-of-center policies on gun control, immigration and the environment, has approved a plan to pour at least $80 million into the 2018 election, with the bulk of that money going to support Democratic congressional candidates, advisers to Mr. Bloomberg said.
By siding so emphatically with one party, Mr. Bloomberg has the potential to upend the financial dynamics of the midterm campaign, which have appeared to favor Republicans up to this point. Facing intense opposition to President Trump and conservative policies, Republicans have been counting on a strong economy and heavily funded outside groups to give them a political advantage in key races, especially in affluent suburbs where it is expensive to run television ads.
Mr. Bloomberg's intervention is likely to undermine that financial advantage by bankrolling advertising on television, online and in the mail for Democratic candidates in a dozen or more congressional districts, chiefly in moderate suburban areas where Mr. Trump is unpopular. Democrats need to gain 23 congressional seats to win a majority.
While Mr. Bloomberg has not chosen his list of targeted races yet, he is unlikely to get involved in rural, conservative-leaning districts where his views on guns and other issues could stir an uproar, according to people briefed on his plans, some of whom spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss private deliberations.
Ruger Mark IV Recalled - June 14, 2018
Ruger recently discovered that all Mark IV™ pistols (including 22/45™ models) manufactured prior to June 1, 2017 have the potential to discharge unintentionally if the safety is not utilized correctly. In particular, if the trigger is pulled while the safety lever is midway between the "safe" and "fire" positions (that is, the safety is not fully engaged or fully disengaged), then the pistol may not fire when the trigger is pulled. However, if the trigger is released and the safety lever is then moved from the mid position to the "fire" position, the pistol may fire at that time
Kent State Student Stopped And Searched For Discussing Concealed Carry License - May 11, 2018
A Kent State University student said she was detained unlawfully by campus police for talking about carrying a concealed weapon.
Leandra Westbrook, a junior at KSU in Ohio, said that on April 27, she was on the phone with a friend and said: "It is a shame that I cannot carry a gun on campus, considering I have my carry license," according to Campus Reform.
"In the conversation I had, there was no way to misinterpret what I said, or to even suggest that I had a gun with me," Westbrook said.
When student cadet officers overheard the exchange between Westbrook and her friend, they immediately informed campus police, the police report stated.
Westbrook, who was in the lecture hall getting ready to take an anatomy quiz, was "removed from class and searched," by the police in front of 200 other students, both Westbrook and the police report stated.
Oklahoma Senate Passes Constitutional Carry Bill - Now On Governors Desk - May 3, 2018
The Oklahoma Senate on Wednesday night passed the so-called "Constitutional Carry" gun bill in a 33-9 vote. The bill, which passed the state's House of Representatives about a week ago, will now be presented to Republican Gov. Mary Fallin for a signature.
It's not yet clear if Gov. Fallin plans to sign the bill, though Rep. Shane Stone, D-Okla., who voted against the bill when it went through the House, previously told Fox News he doesn't expect Fallin to veto it.
Gov. Fallin declined to say whether or not she plans to sign the bill, a spokesperson told Fox News, adding that Fallin does not typically comment on pending legislation "until after the final version reaches the governor's office, and she and her staff have a chance to review it."
If signed into law, the legislation would allow handgun owners in the state to carry without first obtaining a license.
Supporters of the bill argue it protects a gun owner's right to self defense, adding that it would eliminate the costly permit process.
Dick's Sporting Goods Hires Gun Control Lobbyists - May 2, 2018
Dick's Sporting Goods, which announced in February it would no longer sell rifles to anyone under the age of 21, hired three Beltway lobbyists to lobby Congress for gun control, according to federal records reviewed by The Federalist.
The lobbying records show Dick's hired two Democrats and one Republican from Glover Park Group, a DC-based government affairs firm, for "[l]obbying related to gun control." No other policy issues were listed in the disclosure form filed by the firm. The disclosure forms show Dick's pro-gun control lobbying effort began official on April 27, 2018. The official registration form noting Dick's retention of Glover to push for gun control was filed on Monday morning.
The three lobbyists tapped by Dick's to push for gun control are listed by name in the federal disclosure forms, which are required by the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995 to be filed quarterly: Joel Johnson, who worked for both President Bill Clinton and Senate Democrat leadership; Andrew King, who worked for Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.); and Christina Brown, a former staffer for Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.).
Banks And Credit Card Companies Explore Ways to Monitor Gun Purchases - April 30, 2018
Banks and credit card companies are discussing ways to identify purchases of guns in their payment systems, a move that could be a prelude to restricting such transactions, according to people familiar with the talks.
The discussions are preliminary but could be deeply controversial. Gun-rights groups have long resisted any effort to monitor which Americans own guns; there are federal laws limiting the government's use of electronic databases of gun sales.
The financial companies have explored creating a new credit-card code for firearms dealers, similar to how they code restaurants or department stores, according to people familiar with the matter. Another idea would require merchants to share information about specific firearm products consumers are buying, some of the people said.
New York Bill Would Outlaw Rifle Clubs, Archery And Trap Shooting In Public Schools - April 26, 2018
A state lawmaker from New York City has authored a bill that would end riflery, trap shooting and archery as a sport in public schools.
Assemblywoman Linda B. Rosenthal, a Democrat who represents the 67th Assembly District in western Manhattan, introduced the bill on April 20. At this point, there is no co-sponsor for it in the state Senate.
The bill, A10428, which was sent to the Assembly's Education Committee, would amend the state's Education Law and calls for the "prohibition of marksmanship and/or shooting programs in public schools" - a change that "shall take effect immediately."
Rosenthal's bill, covering "marksmanship and/or shooting programs," includes "any competitive or recreational shooting activities involving proficiency tests of accuracy, precision and speed in using various types of ranged weapons, such as firearms and air gun, in forms such as handguns, rifles and shotguns and/or bows or crossbows."
Unpublished CDC Study Confirms over 2 Million Annual Defensive Gun Uses - April 21, 2018
An unpublished Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study confirms Florida State University criminologist Gary Kleck's findings of more than two million defensive handgun uses (DGUs) per year.
Since the early 1990s, Kleck has maintained that there is a minimum of 760,000 DGUs annually. That is his low estimate; Kleck and research partner Marc Gertz have contended the actual number is closer to 2.5 million.
Kleck reaffirmed his numbers on February 17, 2015, explaining that while plenty of naysayers have criticized his findings, none have been able to offer empirical evidence to counter them.
Now, a CDC study conducted on data from 1996, 1997, and 1998 has been uncovered. The study, which was never released to the public, shows approximately 2.46 million DGUs per year.
Two New Jersey High School Students Suspended After Going to Gun Range With Their Parents - April 20, 2018
Lacey Township School District in central New Jersey suspended two high school students after Snapchat pictures showed them at a gun range outside of school hours.
Attorney Daniel Schmutter with the Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs said a lawsuit might be pending since the pictures were non-threatening and not alarming in any way. The two students were simply at a gun range after school hours.
Schmutter indicated in a letter to Lacey Township School District that suspending the two students for posting photos off school grounds and unrelated to school activities was a 'very serious violation' of the their rights, according to Patch.com.
After the incident, the 'straight A' students returned to school but were not permitted to go to class, Schmutter said, according to Patch.com.
Republican Congress Members Ask GSA To Terminate 700 Billion Dollar Contract With Citibank - April 12, 2018
Sixteen Republican congressmen are asking the General Services Administration (GSA) to reevaluate a $700 billion contract with Citibank as a result of the the financial institution's "anti-Second Amendment policies."
The congressmen, led by Indiana Rep. Todd Rokita, sent a letter to GSA Administrator Emily Murphy on Wednesday, asking her to terminate the contract in response to Citibank's March announcement restricting its clients participation in gun sales.
"In 2017, the General Services Administration (GSA) awarded Citibank a contract of more than $700 billion to partially implement the federal charge card program, SmartPay 3," the congressmen wrote in the letter.
"Because of Citibankâ€™s new guidelines targeting customers wishing to exercise their legal Second Amendment rights, we urge you to cancel Citibank's participation in the SmartPay 3 contract, and award it to a company that does not unfairly restrict a customer's constitutional rights," it reads.
"This flagrant attempt to undermine our fundamental rights by caving to radicals should not be endorsed by our federal government," the congressmen added. "The federal government should instead do business with companies that respect all of our constitutional rights, including the Second Amendment. GSA should take all necessary steps to review and terminate its contract with Citibank unless they rescind their guidelines, and rebid the SmartPay 3 contract."
Right To Carry Guns In Schools Case Headed To Michigan Supreme Court - April 9, 2018
The highest court in Michigan is set to hear arguments Wednesday on whether a person has the right to openly carry guns on school property; a case getting considerable attention in the wake of the Florida school massacre nearly two months ago.
At issue is a case that's been on the court's docket for more than a year, stemming from a 2015 incident involving a man with a concealed-carry permit who brought a gun to a school concert at Ann Arbor Pioneer High School. Some students, staff and spectators were scared by the incident, which caused the school board to ban all guns on school grounds, with exceptions for police.
That local action spurred a legal fight that's now landed with the state's supreme court; because while Michigan law does not allow people to possess a gun inside gun-free school zones, someone with a concealed permit can enter school property with a gun that's openly holstered.
New York State Comptroller Urges Banks To Discriminate Against Gun Sales - April 4, 2018
The head of New York's giant state pension has asked the leaders of Visa, Mastercard, and some of the biggest Wall Street banks to take steps to crack down on gun purchases made through the financial system, according to a letter obtained by The Post.
State Comptroller Thomas J. DiNapoli sent letters to nine different financial institutions asking them to consider "implementing a system that could reject the purchases" of guns and ammunition, according to a letter sent to Mastercard.
Other letters were sent to JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Discover, American Express, First Data, and Worldpay, a spokesman for DiNapoli told The Post.
The New York state pension, the nation's third-largest with $209.1 billion in assets, has stakes in all those companies.
The letter, which references the shootings in Parkland, Fla, and Sandy Hook, claims that the companies need to address how mass shootings can hurt the reputations and stock prices of companies that allow people to buy guns.
"I am writing to express my concern that Mastercard may suffer reputational harm because it allows its banking services to be used in firearms transactions," DiNapoli wrote.
Louisiana Proposal To Raise Age For Assault Weapon Purchase To 21 Passes Senate Committee - April 3, 2018
A Louisiana Senate Committee voted 4-3 for legislation that would restrict people from purchasing assault weapons until they are 21 years old. Currently, people can purchase any type of gun at 18 years old.
It is one of very few gun restrictions that hasn't been shot down in the Legislature immediately in recent years. Three Democrats and one Republican, Sen. Fred Mills of Breaux Bridge, voted in favor of the bill. The three other Republicans on the committee voted against it.
The bill had some powerful allies, including New Orleans Police Superintendent Michael Harrison, who traveled to Baton Rouge to testify in favor of the proposal. Robert Tasman, who speaks on behalf of the Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops, also spoke in favor of House Bill 274.
"If we save one life, two lives, three lives, I would think this will have been worth it," said Sen. Troy Carter, D-New Orleans, the sponsor of the legislation.
Prominent GOP Donor Starts Anti-Gun PAC - April 2, 2018
A prominent Republican donor bankrolled the newest political action committee dedicated to gun control on Capitol Hill.
Al Hoffman, an 83 year old retired real estate developer from southern Florida, raised more than $600 million during former President George W. Bush's campaigns in 2000 and 2004. He served as the U.S. Ambassador to Portugal from 2005 until 2007 and as finance chairman of the Republican National Committee.
Hoffman later pledged $1 million to Jeb Bush's presidential bid in 2016 and ranked among the year's most generous campaign donors overall.
But just days after the Valentine's Day shooting in Parkland, Florida killed 17 and wounded 15 others, Hoffman warned the money would dry up for Republican candidates uninterested in banning "military style weapons" for civilian use.
"For how many years have we been doing this; having these experiences of terrorism, mass killings; and how many years is it that nothing has been done?" he said during an interview with the New York Times in February. "Itâ€™s the end of the road for me."
Hoffman announced the launch of Americans for Gun Safety at the national March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C. last month. The group wants Congress to ban bump stocks and high capacity magazines, implement age restrictions for all gun sales, expand background checks and support mental health services; without infringing on the Second Amendment.